It’s Wednesday again and we continue our journey into internationalisation strategies by language! After English and Chinese, our next stop on the way to international student recruitment success is Spanish.
According to “Latino Recruitment” by Veronica Guzman Pulido, the Latino/Hispanic population is constantly growing and extremely young. On average, it is 8 years younger than the mainstream population in the U.S.*
With this knowledge and recent economic and political developments, the LATAM region can easily become a target for your internationalisation and diversification efforts.
Another research paper, “Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Latino Students in Tennessee’s Private 4-year Institutions” by Carrie Abood, Darwin Mason, Jr., and Chris White offers a view on recruiting, retaining and graduating Latin American students.*
The paper lists a lot of reasons why higher education admission rates among Latino students tend to be quite low. Some examples include little awareness of financial aid opportunities and English language barriers. Strong family ties also make the decision to leave difficult, as well as general lack of information and problems accessing it.
* NOTE: These papers focus on first-generation Latino population living in U.S. Due to the small amount of research on that topic, we use these papers to outline recruitment strategies that work best with first-generation Latino population.
Strategies to address these problems and help enrol as well as retain more Latino/Spanish-speaking tudents:
- Administration commitment to the cause
In order to encourage more students to enrol, university administration should demonstrate a visible and constant effort shared by the rest of faculty and staff across the campus. You need to show explicitly that you see Latino students as a core value to your institution. Make your commitment to diversity evident throughout all of your university’s outreach efforts.
- Partnerships in communities
Usual models of information dissemination doesn’t properly work with Latino students. A successful strategy would involve community and family centers, parents and other stakeholders in this process.
- Family outreach
In many Latino countries, family is the most important traditional value in the society. It impacts student motivations, choices and, of course, financial aspects of the admission. That’s why when disseminating information, it is vital to target not just students, but their whole families.
What is your experience of recruiting Latino/Spanish-speaking students? Do you observe the same peculiarities on these markets?
Share your tips and tricks for success in the comments below!